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Youthman

My Thoughts After Comparing the RF-7, RF-7 II and RF-7 III

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We had a BLAST on Saturday listening to the RF-7, RF-7 II and RF-7 III.

 

 

 

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Nice video @Youthman thanks for the comparison. So, Klipsch personally sent you a pair of RF7III's to review. You essentially got them for free? :) I'm happy with my cherry II's and personally feel the darker colored cherry looks better than the III's and the all front veneer and grill leaving some of the front exposed looks a little more high end. No brightness at all either. All dependent on the equipment. My Marantz amp keeps the sound warm and detailed. I wonder how much of a difference there is between the two in movie watching. Also the RC-64II and RC-64III. 

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Excellent video Michael, as usual. It sounded like a fun day. I like the look of the front of the 3 better than the 2, it looks more hi-end. Thanks again.

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50 minutes ago, Ceptorman said:

Excellent video Michael, as usual. It sounded like a fun day.

Man, that was one of the coolest days I've had in a long time!  I've never been to an Audio Get Together at someone's home, much less hosting one.  Met three new friends and am looking for the next GTG.

 

Haha... @Deang you crack me up.  We started off the day comparing all 4 speakers.  We all liked mine with Deang Crossovers but I mainly focused on the stock RF-7, RF-7 II and RF-7 III since most guys don't modify their crossovers.  When we first played the RF-7, they asked me what settings my treble was on because they sounded overly bright.  I had the treble set at 3 o'clock on the receiver to bring back some of the highs that the Deang trimmed on the RF-7 II so we set it back to flat for the rest of the day.  I wish we could have done more A/B with both RF-7 II but I believe even you mentioned, you feel that's not a good way to compare speakers.  Regardless, we had an incredible time hanging out. 

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10 minutes ago, Youthman said:

When we first played the RF-7, they asked me what settings my treble was on and I had it at 3 o'clock on the receiver to bring back some of the highs that the Deang trimmed.

 

Since I haven’t done your RF-7’s, I’m guessing you meant to say RF-7ii’s. 

 

That’s a lot of treble boost to bring back something I didn’t “trim”. Wow. Cap for cap, resistor for resistor - identical values! 

 

The Mills resistors have a warmer signature than sand cast resistors, but man, it shouldn’t be that big of a difference. 

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28 minutes ago, Deang said:

How did the bastardized RF-7ii’s do?  

I thought they all sounded awesome in their own way.  All really thumped with definition and really had an easy time with all the music we threw at them.  Not a hint of distortion, even at crazy loud volumes, and no strain or struggles with the transients.  Free wheeling dynamics was the common thread that day.

 

Bill

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1 minute ago, Deang said:

Since I haven’t done your RF-7’s, I’m guessing you meant to say RF-7ii’s. 

No, I actually meant the RF-7's.   I just didn't finish my thought.  I just edited the original post.  The RF-7's sounded REALLY bright because I had turned up the treble to 3 o'clock when listening to my RF-7 II with Deang to bring back some of the top end that the mod trimmed.

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Same problem. You “lost highs” - you shouldn’t have. The sound should just be smoother and more open. 

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Did you compare the stock II's and III's with tone controls flat?

 

Regarding the III's, smoother highs and more balanced sound vs. the II's is what I took away from the video.  Were these III improvements the consensus from all, independent of track and volume level?

 

Are you keeping the III's?  That will be a telling sign.  :)  

 

Thanks for doing this and posting the video.

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2 hours ago, Deang said:

Same problem. You “lost highs” - you shouldn’t have. The sound should just be smoother and more open. 

I know what’s happening. I had to go back to a post by “Leok” (Leo) from 2005. Leo was the one who came up with the RF-7 mod, and the one who pushed me into all of this craziness. Leo was an EE, and was into all kinds of amazing stuff. A great loss to the Community when he left. 

 

“Distortion products contribute to a crisp, but un-natural hi-fi sound. People sometimes mistake that crispness for detail, but it's actually not part of the original sound. If you listen to unamplified acoustic instruments and voice you'll notice that it's really quite soft on top. Improving cap quality in high frequency crossovers moves their sound in that softer, more natural direction.“ — Leo

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4 hours ago, adam2434 said:

Did you compare the stock II's and III's with tone controls flat?

Yes, we did that immediately after we realized the RF-7's sounded even more bright than normal.  LOL

 

4 hours ago, adam2434 said:

Regarding the III's, smoother highs and more balanced sound vs. the II's is what I took away from the video.  Were these III improvements the consensus from all, independent of track and volume level?

We would typically play a verse and chorus of 1 track, then switch to next speaker and repeat until we went through all 4 speakers.  All of us were in agreement the RF-7 III had the smoothest top end out of the RF-7, RF-7 II and RF-7 III.  Same track, same volume for each demo using my SPL Meter.

 

4 hours ago, adam2434 said:

Are you keeping the III's?  That will be a telling sign.  :)

Not really.  I'm COMPLETELY content with the RF-7 II that I have now.  Do I like the sound of the RF-7 III better?   Yes.  Buying a pair of $3000 speakers is not the typical "Youthman Deal" that I"m known for.  LOL.  I would rather take my family of 6 on a cruise than to spend $3000 on something for myself.

 

4 hours ago, adam2434 said:

Thanks for doing this and posting the video.

I'm having a blast doing it!

 

4 hours ago, Deang said:

“Distortion products contribute to a crisp, but un-natural hi-fi sound. People sometimes mistake that crispness for detail, but it's actually not part of the original sound. If you listen to unamplified acoustic instruments and voice you'll notice that it's really quite soft on top. Improving cap quality in high frequency crossovers moves their sound in that softer, more natural direction.“ — Leo

This may be very well true but I think of it like I do with a flat response.  Some guys say a flat response is ideal while others feel it's lifeless and dull.  Our ears hear differently.   If my ears prefer a brighter sound (even if that brightness is not "natural"), wouldn't it make more sense to appeal to what your ears prefer?  I can assure you, I'm no audiophile.  Just a guy who loves audio, movies and Klipsch.  :)

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Great review Youthman.  I feel confident in getting myself a pair of II's for sure.  Will fit my budget better than the III's.  Should be a significant upgrade from the old 5.5's I've been running for over 20 years now.  Curious, did you run them straight, or bi-amp them?  The Marantz receiver that I have allows for bi-amping.  Benefit, or none?  Thanks again.

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3 minutes ago, ACV92 said:

I feel confident in getting myself a pair of II's for sure.  Will fit my budget better than the III's.

The RF-7 II are fantastic speakers and will be a HUGE upgrade from your KG 5.5.  I've owned a few KG speakers over the years and although they are ok, the RF-7's are in a different league.  I think you will really enjoy the RF-7 II. 

 

4 minutes ago, ACV92 said:

Curious, did you run them straight, or bi-amp them?  The Marantz receiver that I have allows for bi-amping.  Benefit, or none?  Thanks again.

Straight.  I tried bi-amping using my previous Yamaha Receiver and heard zero difference.  Some guys claim they hear a slight difference but I just don't see how it can physically make a difference unless you bypass the internal crossover and go with an active crossover.   Fel free to try it if you have extra speaker wire.

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9 minutes ago, Youthman said:

The RF-7 II are fantastic speakers and will be a HUGE upgrade from your KG 5.5.  I've owned a few KG speakers over the years and although they are ok, the RF-7's are in a different league.  I think you will really enjoy the RF-7 II. 

 

Straight.  I tried bi-amping using my previous Yamaha Receiver and heard zero difference.  Some guys claim they hear a slight difference but I just don't see how it can physically make a difference unless you bypass the internal crossover and go with an active crossover.   Fel free to try it if you have extra speaker wire.

Interesting, in my mind bi-amping would provide more driver control than a straight run.  My amp is 125 x 2.  So, my thought is that with bi-amping it would equate to 250 x 2 when set up.  Am I wrong here?  Not so much to overall volume, but again, control.  Well, if I get a pair I'll have to try both scenarios.  Looking forward to it.  Just built some panels with Roxul 60 to quell the first order reflections.  Next up are some bass traps with the same material.  Wife hates them, but I think they add to the 'ambience'.  :D  Nice room by the way.

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7 hours ago, ACV92 said:

Well, if I get a pair I'll have to try both scenarios.  Looking forward to it. 

That's the best thing to do.  You really have nothing to lose except for time.

 

7 hours ago, ACV92 said:

Nice room by the way.

Thank you kindly.

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Great video, sounds like you had a great time.  My wife walked by when there was the picture of all the 7's on the front wall and said "no, nope, no way" lol.   I own the ii's and would love to upgrade, but as mentioned it's a little out of the price range in the difference, and as I look at that picture of all the 7's, I keep going back to the front wood grain on the ii's in the light.  Man does that look great, and I too would miss that.

 

Keep the videos coming, great stuff.

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Great video Youthman, thank you and thanks to Klipsch for putting the 7III's in the hands of a trusted forum member for a review! 

 

I wanted to share with you an album I thought you might enjoy based on your description of your search for a great jazz bass track. The album I believe is a great reference recording for bass as you were searching for on spotify. Its pretty straightforward.... a trumpet and a stand up bass, two acoustic instruments in the hands of virtuosos. 

 

Check it out I'd love to hear what you think and how it sounds in your room(s). It sounds great on the Khorns in my main room! 

 

Cheers

 

Screen_Shot_2018-02-15_at_9.50.41_AM.png 

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On 2/12/2018 at 7:12 PM, Deang said:

I know what’s happening. I had to go back to a post by “Leok” (Leo) from 2005. Leo was the one who came up with the RF-7 mod, and the one who pushed me into all of this craziness. Leo was an EE, and was into all kinds of amazing stuff. A great loss to the Community when he left. 

 

“Distortion products contribute to a crisp, but un-natural hi-fi sound. People sometimes mistake that crispness for detail, but it's actually not part of the original sound. If you listen to unamplified acoustic instruments and voice you'll notice that it's really quite soft on top. Improving cap quality in high frequency crossovers moves their sound in that softer, more natural direction.“ — Leo

 

For whatever it's worth and for whoever didn't see this from a couple days ago elsewhere, I measured the RF-7II and 7III in an apples to apples comparison recently.  I had the microphone close to the horn, I backed it up to the listening position, I even took them outside, always the same amp, same position, same settings, same everything.  No matter what I did, there was always a significant bump in the response at 1.8-1.9 khz on the RF-7II comparatively.  Certain Tom Petty riffs were more annoying and twangy on the 2's, maybe due to that spike in the low treble I mentioned. 

 

More importantly, literally everything above about 5.5 khz had a pretty solid 3 usually 4 db boost on the RF-7II.  String attacks, cymbal shimmers, strings strapping the frets, all were significantly brighter on the RF-7II.  If there was no material up there it sounded normal, pretty similar.  Some voices were nearly identical between the two.  Bass measured very similarly.  There was a dip around 420 hz on the RF-7II which is right where a calculated standing wave ought to be, and isn't there on the 3's probably due to the slanted internal baffle, which I thought was interesting.  I'd be surprised if all that on the top end was distortion artifacts.  

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That seems right in line with what I heard, just a lot more technical.  One day I need to learn how to use the UMIK-1 mic I purchased.  LOL  Thanks for sharing your findings Cory.

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